Prosthetic joint infection is one of the most severe complication following joint arthroplasty, producing a significant worsening of patient's quality of life. Management of PJIs requires extended courses of antimicrobial therapy, multiple surgical interventions and prolonged hospital stay, with a consequent economic burden, which is thought to markedly increase in the next years due to the expected burden in total joint arthroplasties. The present review summarizes the present knowledge on microbiological diagnosis of prosthetic joint infections, focusing on aethiological agents and discussing pros and cons of the available strategies for their diagnosis.Intra-operative clinical diagnosis and pathogen identification is considered the diagnostic benchmark, however the presence of bacterial biofilm makes pathogen detection with traditional microbiological techniques highly ineffective. Diagnosis of PJIs is a rather complex challenge for orthopedics and requires a strict collaboration between different specialists: orthopaedics, infectivologists, microbiologists, pathologists and radiologists. Diagnostic criteria have been described by national and international association and scientific societies. Clinicians should be trained on how to use it, but more importantly they should know potential and limitation of the available tests in order to use them appropriately.
- Journal Article